Posts tagged ‘Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Reserve’

Cliffs Wine Picks – March 2019 Vol 1

 

2015 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir

2013 Terra d’Oro Winery Barbera

2016 Turley Sauvignon Blanc Turley Estate

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label

 

 

 

2015 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir – $19

This was a “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  The winery’s price for this wine is $50, do the math.  After using some of my credits, I actually bought this wine for a ridiculous $10.52 a bottle.  Check out Last Bottle, sign up and then get your friends to sign up and you’ll be able to score the same steals.

 

This 100% Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes from a wide array of vineyards and clones all over the Willamette Valley.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The elegant nose has black cherries, raspberries, baking spices, cocoa powder, dry earth, white pepper and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate bright fruit, baling spices and cocoa powder jump out on the front end with dry earth and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note providing depth.  This carries no excess weight and shows great balance.  This would be a crowd pleaser, the upfront fruit will appeal to casual wine drinkers but there is enough savory notes on the back end and finish to appeal to most of the people reading this note.  This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (90 pts)

2015 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir

2015 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir

 

 

2013 Terra d’Oro Winery Barbera – $10.19

This Terra d’Oro Barbera was fermented in stainless steel before being aged for 15 months in small French and Hungarian oak barrels.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, baking spices, cherries, licorice, dry earth, dark chocolate and blueberries.  This has medium body with soft to moderate smooth tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, cherries and baking spices dominate the front end with earthy elements and dark chocolate coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with blueberries providing some depth.  This is a bit lacking in complexity but the nice fruit and spice make it easy to drink and enjoy.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Terra d'Oro Winery Barbera

2013 Terra d’Oro Winery Barbera

 

 

2016 Turley Sauvignon Blanc Turley Estate – $28

This will be my first white wine from Turley.  I normally have a hard time limiting myself to a case of their zinfandel and petite sirah wines, but in this release, I stashed a couple bottles of their sauvignon blanc in my case.

 

This is a light golden straw color.  The mesmerizing nose has white peach, apples, lemongrass, crushed stone minerals and beeswax.  This has medium body with a creamy texture and very nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit and minerals come through on the front end with lemongrass and beeswax coming in later.  The finish has good length with mouthwatering lime zest forcing you to grab another sip.  This has great balance and it is extremely easy to sip and enjoy.  This has 13.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2016 Turley Sauvignon Blanc Turley Estate

2016 Turley Sauvignon Blanc Turley Estate

 

 

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera – $10

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

The man behind Uvaggio is Jim Moore.  If you remember the old La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi label from many years ago, Jim was the wine maker and driving force behind those wonderful wines.

 

This 100% Lodi AVA wine is a blend of 98% Barbera from the Leventini Vineyard and 2% Primitivo from the Bella Vigna Vineyard.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, plums, baking spices, white pepper, dry loam, vanilla bean, raspberries and violets.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the rich fruit and spice jump out on the front end with nice earthiness and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean, raspberries and a floral note providing good depth.  This wouldn’t be mistaken for an Italian Barbera but who cares.  This has nice upfront fruit with enough savory notes to keep it very interesting.  Barbera is another grape that is producing very tasty wines in Lodi.  I liked this more and more as the evening turned into night.  Great job.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Uvaggio (L'Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera

 

 

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve – $29.29

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  This was picked up at a Last Bottle Marathon, always a great source for special wines at every day prices.  See below for information on the site and a discount on your first purchase.

 

I can’t find, with 100% confidence, the exact blend of grapes for this wine but it appears to be 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.  I should note, I have even seen this noted as 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir.  This means, your guess is as good as mine.

 

This is a light golden straw color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized, persistent bubbles.  The festive nose has tart apples, lemon zest, stony minerals, toasted yeasty bread, orange blossoms, white peach and a hint of berries.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence, crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest quickly take control with a hint of white peach and berries slipping in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is crisp and clean thanks to lemony acidity.  This is a joy to sip on its’ own or with a light meal.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

 

 

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label – $41.39

This was another “steal” from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate $10 credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.  I know the wine’s release price was $75 because I bought a couple bottles from the winery upon release.

 

First some info for the wine geeks from the winery:

 

This wine spent 57 months in barrel, 55% was new French oak.  The final selection process yielded only a 20 barrel-lot, which is composed of 100% Alder Springs fruit.  Eleven of the selected barrels were new in 2007, from coopers Darnajou, Ermitage, François Frère & Meyrieux, the remaining barrels were of varying ages, but all were essentially neutral when the wine went into them.  Four of the barrels were co-fermented with Viognier and they were clearly loaded with a succulent lift in their aromas.  Only two of the barrels came from fruit that was de-stemmed.  The freshest and most concentrated barrels included 100% whole-clusters, with some of the more open knit and exotic barrels having received some partial de-stemming, giving them some more evolved and exotic characteristics, that worked well in the final blend.

 

This is 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier.  85% were whole-cluster.

 

The wine is a deep, inky purple color.  The sexy nose has blackberries, blueberries, charcoal, dark bittersweet chocolate, road tar, plums, violets, licorice and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  A barrage of berries, charcoal, dark chocolate and road tar quickly engulf your palate on the front end with plums, charcoal and black pepper coming in later.  The long finish adds licorice and a nice floral note.  This is a loaded wine but with the structure and savory notes that keep it out of the “fruit bomb” category.  This isn’t for you if you are looking for a lighter style of nuanced wine.  This will last in the cellar for several more years but I wouldn’t plan on cellaring it for an extended length of time, this needs opened before the acidity and tannin levels decrease to the point they can’t support the body and flavor, figure 5 to 7 more years.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label

2007 Agharta Wines Black Label

 

 

 

 

 

A few meals paired with a couple of the wines.

 

Other meals that were paired with all the wines for the week are usually posted on my Instagram account, Cliff’s Wine Picks Instagram.  If you want a specific recipe, send an e-mail to Cliff @ CliffsWinePicks . com.  Obviously, remove the spaces.

 

I paired the 2007 Agharta Wines Black Label with slow simmered short ribs and gravy over mashed potatoes with a yeast roll and green beans we froze from last summer’s garden.

 

The 2015 Cornerstone Cellars Pinot Noir was paired with a new recipe, Creamy Ranch Chicken, and fresh picked broccoli from our “winter” garden.

 

How can you go wrong having a pepperoni and Italian sausage pizza with a bottle of 2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera

 

 

 

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2019 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

Cliffs Wine Picks – February 2017 Vol 4

 

2013 Orin Swift D66

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

 

 

 

2013 Orin Swift D66 – $29.29

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a link to sign up with a $10 credit.

 

This is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Carignan from the Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes region in France’s Roussillon area.  This wine was aged for 18 months is 30% new French Oak and then bottle aged 5 months prior to release.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The bold nose is full of blackberries, plums, cassis, black pepper, baking spices, charred wood, violets and dark roasted coffee.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate waves of fruit with pepper and charred wood quickly take control with baking spices and dark roast coffee coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a floral note providing some depth.  Not a lot of complexity but loads of up front fruit.  This has just enough structure and spice to keep it from getting boring.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)

2013 Orin Swift D66

2013 Orin Swift D66

 

 

 

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard – $18.99

I loved the Rosenblum wines crafted by Jeff Cohn and have never been disappointed by the ones he has produced under his own label.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose has smoky, earthy berries, dark bittersweet chocolate, minerals, meat juices, black pepper, dried herbs, warm baking spices and just a touch of road tar.  This has a fairly full body, moderate to full tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the juicy, smoky berries grab hold, slowly allowing dried herbs, black pepper, and meaty elements to slip through.  The finish has nice length with some earthiness and dark chocolate being added to the mix.  This is in its’ prime drinking window and should hold for a couple of years.  Another winner from Jeff Cohn.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

2009 JC Cellars Syrah Fess Parker Vineyard

 

 

 

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve – $19.48

This wine was purchased from Last Bottle Wines, see below for information and a link to sign up with a $10 credit.

 

This is a deep ruby red color.  The captivating nose has black cherries, charred wood, plums, crushed stone minerals, cocoa powder, dried herbs, vanilla bean and violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, cocoa powder, minerals and plums quickly jump out on the front end with charred wood and dried herbs coming in later.  The finish has nice length with vanilla bean and violets providing additional depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and should hold for three to five more years.  This has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2009 World's End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

2009 World’s End Merlot Little Sister Reserve

 

 

 

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard – $46.00

I love Brian Loring’s Pinot Noirs, actually I love all the wines of his that I have tried.  Loring’s Pinot Noirs are very Californian in style, which I do not say in a bad way.  Brian’s pinots are usually ripe and bold and very tasty.  If you are looking for a Burgundian style, look elsewhere, if you are looking for a very tasty bottle of wine you’re in the right place.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, minerals, baking spices, black cherries, licorice, raspberries, a touch of smoke, and some subtle earthiness.  This has medium to full body, moderate tannins, and very good acidity.  Loads of spicy berries and minerals dominate the front end with black cherries and earthy elements coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length but does show just a touch of alcohol, but not enough to take away from the wine.  This is a very nice combination of a big, rich California Pinot but with plenty of tannins and acidity to provide support and balance.  This is an outstanding effort.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with the usual Loring twist off closure.  (93 pts)

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

2010 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Cargasacchi Vineyard

 

 

 

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve – $29.29

This was picked up at a Last Bottle Marathon, always a great source for special wines at every day prices.  See below for information on the site and a discount on your first purchase.

 

I can’t find, with 100% confidence, the exact blend of grapes for this wine but it appears to be 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.  I should note, I have even seen this noted as 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir.  This means, your guess is as good as mine.

 

This is a light golden straw color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized, persistent bubbles.  The festive nose has tart apples, lemon zest, stony minerals, toasted yeasty bread, orange blossoms, white peach and a hint of berries.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence, crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest quickly take control with a hint of white peach and berries slipping in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is crisp and clean thanks to lemony acidity.  This is a joy to sip on its’ own or with a light meal.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

 

 

 

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan – $19.99

I don’t have the exact break down of the grapes used to produce this wine, but the vineyard is comprised of 62% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, so the final blend is probably close to these percentages.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, cassis, dusty minerals, baking spices, scorched earth, violets and pencil shavings.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cassis, cherries, minerals and spices immediately jump out with scorched earth and a hint of spicy oak coming in later.  The finish has nice length with pencil shavings and violets providing nice depth.  This is probably as good as it gets, which is still pretty good.  Pop this one over the remainder of the decade.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork (my cork broke and split as it was being pulled).  (90 pts)

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

2005 Château La Garde Pessac-Leognan

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – January 2017 Vol 2

 

2011 Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Romane Machotte

2011 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

2010 Villa Creek Avenger

2015 River Road Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma County

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

2012 BellaGrace Vineyards Grenache

 

 

 

2011 Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Romane Machotte – $21.99

This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.  The wine is aged for 12 months in two year old barrels and oak casks.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, raspberries, dusty minerals, dried herbs, white pepper, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate berries, minerals and white pepper jump out on the front end with dried herbs and scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with a dried floral note providing adding depth.  This is drinking very nicely right now and it should hold through at least the end of the decade.  I really liked this one.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a man made closure.  (91 pts)

2011 Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Romane Machotte

2011 Pierre Amadieu Gigondas Romane Machotte

 

 

2011 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva – $14.84

This is a wine I always keep in the cellar for pizza and pasta nights.  I always grab a few bottles when I visit the local Total Wine when I can get it for under $15 with any frequent buyer sales or coupons.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The very enjoyable nose has cherries, dusty minerals, dry underbrush, spices, white pepper and wild flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate cherries, minerals and spics jump out quickly with underbrush and white pepper coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a floral note providing depth.  This is very food friendly and young.  This will improve with some cellar time and last for a decade.  This has 14.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

2011 Terre di Talamo Morellino di Scansano Tempo Riserva

 

 

2010 Villa Creek Avenger – $36.00

This wine is a blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache.  There were 400 cases produced.

 

Some technical stuff from the winery:

Avenger is always Syrah based, but this wine is reminiscent of some of the first vintages of Avenger with its higher percentage of Mourvèdre.  Luna Matta Syrah is the backbone of this vintage.  Mourvèdre grapes come from Denner, James Berry and Luna Matta.  The Syrah was fermented 50% whole cluster and aged in 30% new French barriques.  The Mourvèdre was fermented without stems and aged in second fill French puncheons.  The Denner Grenache was destemmed and aged in neutral puncheons.

 

The wine is a deep garnet color.  The inviting nose is full of crushed berries, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, underbrush, licorice, baking spices, black cherries and wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tanning and nice acidity.  On the palate the crushed berries, white pepper and crushed stones grab hold and take control early with cherries, baking spices and earthy underbrush slipping in on the back end.  The finish is long and nicely layered.  The 15.2% alcohol is buried behind the wall of berries and spice and doesn’t poke through at any time.  This is drinking very nicely now with some air but will last in the cellar through the end of the decade, probably longer.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a wax covered natural cork.  (93 pts)

2010 Villa Creek Avenger

2010 Villa Creek Avenger

 

 

2015 River Road Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma County – $14.44

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The interesting nose has black cherries, forest floor, eucalyptus, white pepper, roasted leafy herbs, cranberries and chalky minerals.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate cherries, forest floor, white pepper and roasted herbs pop out on the front end with cranberries and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with a hint of eucalyptus providing some depth.  At this time the wine doesn’t show a lot of complexity, perhaps some cellar time will allow some depth and complexity to develop.  None the less, this is a nice Pinot for under $15.  This has 13.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.  (87 pts)

2015 River Road Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma County

2015 River Road Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma County

 

 

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve – $29.29

This was picked up at a Last Bottle Marathon, always a great source for special wines at every day prices.  See below for information on the site and a discount on your first purchase.

 

I can’t find, with 100% confidence, the exact blend of grapes for this wine but it appears to be 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.  I should note, I have even seen this noted as 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir.  This means, your guess is as good as mine.

 

This is a light golden straw color with a steady stream of pinpoint sized, persistent bubbles.  The festive nose has tart apples, lemon zest, stony minerals, toasted yeasty bread, orange blossoms, white peach and a hint of berries.  This has light to medium body with great effervescence, crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  On the palate apples, minerals, orange blossoms and lemon zest quickly take control with a hint of white peach and berries slipping in on the back end.  The finish has good length and is crisp and clean thanks to lemony acidity.  This is a joy to sip on its’ own or with a light meal.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a standard Champagne cork.  (92 pts)

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

 

 

2012 BellaGrace Vineyards Grenache – $17.50

This is one of my favorite “new wineries”.  They are well worth your time to check them out on their website.

 

The wine is a garnet red color.  The inviting nose has cherries, white pepper, dusty minerals, licorice, baking spices, scorched earth and dried herbs.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate mineral laden cherries, white pepper and baking spices grab hold immediately with scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with dried herbs, white pepper and minerals pushing the fruit into the background…in a good way.  This tastes very good today and should hold through the end of the decade.  This has very good balance and it will pair nicely with a variety of meals.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2012 BellaGrace Vineyards Grenache

2012 BellaGrace Vineyards Grenache

 

 

 

last-bottle

 

I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  You probably noticed some of the wines in this post were purchased from the site.  All of these wines were purchased at a big discount.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.

 

If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.

 

Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

I post a lot more pictures and pairing suggestions on my Instagram account, consider joining me at https://www.instagram.com/cbbrown3/

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2017 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

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Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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